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The Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century, Cincinnati, Ohio; J. M. Armstrong & Company, 1878.
MILLIKEN, HON. CHARLES WILLIAM, Lawyer, was born August 15, 1827, in Graves County, Kentucky. His parents were among the early settlers of Kentucky, coming thither from North Carolina, as early as 1819. His mother was of Scotch descent, and his father was a native of Ireland. They were plain, upright people, and their teachings wielded a great influence over the conduct and career of their children in after life. Charles William Milliken obtained his early education under numerous disadvantages; but, being very ambitious, he was not disheartened by the obstacles he was compelled to encounter. Up to his eighteenth year his opportunities for gaining knowledge had been of the most scanty description. He contrived to raise means sufficient to enable him to enter Wirt College, in Sumner County, Tennessee, and there he sedulously devoted himself to the task of gaining a thorough education. After passing through four years of study at this institution, he received his degree in 1849; and, after graduation, located at Franklin, Kentucky. Having a predilection for the law, he at once commenced its study, in the office of Hon. B. L. Clark, one of the most distinguished members of the bar of his district. In 1850, having reached the requisite standard of proficiency, he was duly licensed, and entered on the practice of his profession, but did not devote himself exclusively to the practice of the law until 1859. In 1857, he was chosen county attorney, and held the position until 1863, when he resigned, to devote himself entirely to his private practice, which had now become very extensive. He continued actively engaged in the pursuit of his profession until January, 1867, when a vacancy occurring in the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney, he was appointed, by Judge George C. Rogers, to fill the position. At the expiration of the term, in 1872, he became a candidate for the office, and was elected, by a handsome majority, over his competitor. He remained in this position until the January following his election, when, at the earnest solicitations of his friends, who were desirous of placing him in a field which afforded a wider scope for the exercise of his talents, he consented to become a candidate of Congress, from his district. He received the nomination upon the Democratic ticket; made the canavass, and took his seat as a member of the Forty-Third Congress, by an overwhelming majority; and was re-elected at the expiration of his term. Such was the high estimation in which he was held by his fellow-citizens, that, upon the expiration of his second Congressional term, they urgently requested him to again occupy the station he had so creditably filled; but, having resolved to retire from public life, he respectfully declined the proffered honor, and returned to the duties of the private citizen, accompanied by the best wishes and highest respect of his numerous friends. He is a member of the Order of Odd-fellows, and, also, is a Mason in good standing. He was married, in 1850, to Miss Sallie Royster, daughter of George Royster, of Gallatin, Tennessee. They have one son, a young man of rare ability, who is one of the proprietors and editors of the “Franklin Patriot.” Mr. Milliken is a gentleman of unquestioned ability; and his natural talents, combined with his temperate and industrious habits, have gained for him a success which is well-merited. His public career was marked by strict fidelity to his trust; and his conduct met with the hearty approbation of all classes of citizens. In his profession, he has achieved considerable prominence; and possesses great powers as an advocate; and is worthy of the high position he occupies in the community.